I guess I haven`t told you that I had a one-year living experience in Kuala Lumpur. It (aka. the food) was awesome! Although Malaysian and Indonesian food basically share similar hints of taste, I kept enjoying new sensation in my mouth when I had my meals from the restaurants and food hawkers. Nasi lemak was my DAILY breakfast for a year. Chicken rice was my lunch. Roti chanay was my afternoon snacks. And curry laksa. And grilled stingray fish with sambal. And SUGARCANE drinks! I happily and undoubtedly gained weight very quick that time.
So, in part of my attempts in rebuilding the Malaysian food fiesta in my life, I made curry laksa. I was lucky to come across a laksa recipe from Almost Bourdaine. I fell in love with her gorgeous laksa photo and decided to give it a try. The thing is, I don`t have some of the ingredients, so I just omitted them. If you never have any laksa before and are curious with the taste, I recommend you to use her recipe for a real reference. But if you don`t mind following what I did, have a look and feel free to make your own version of laksa.
Start with blending garlic, onion (shallot if you have), chili, dried shrimp (mine was Japanese dried shrimp) and ginger into paste.
Saute the paste and add a tsp of shrimp paste (or more, or not at all).
Stir in chili powder, curry powder, coriander, and lemon grass. Smells good already?
Now, throw in boiled and shredded chicken into the paste. Tell you what, whenever I need shredded chicken, my pressure cooker comes to rescue. Just cook the chicken for 20 mins and another 15 mins to release the pressure and break the meat apart effortlessly with a wooden spatula. It`s perfectly shredded. Don`t forget to reserve the stock. It`s precious.
Now pour in the stock through a strainer to filter out the nasties. Yes, I put ginger when I cook the chicken as I always find it gives a wonderful smell.
After the chicken stock, pour in coconut milk. Stir up. Oh, I added some mushrooms here. I have a mushroom addiction too. It`s cute, delicious, healthy, and CHEAP. No reason for not liking it.
Now meet YUBA. Yuba is a dried byproduct from tofu making process, other than okara. From what I read, yuba is formed like a thin film on the surface when the bean is being boiled. It contains the bean fat that floats on top of the water and thus you can feel the oily part of yuba when you touch it.
The real curry laksa recipe calls for tofu cubes, but I happened to have this yuba in my fridge. Why not??
Throw in some yuba to the soup and they will instantly soften like curdled egg white.
Season the soup with salt and pepper and adjust the spiciness. When you`re done with it, turn off the heat and set the soup aside. Now continue with preparing the mee, or mie, or noodle. I used ramen noodles and bean sprouts just like the original recipe.
But I substituted the vermicelli with this. White konnyaku noodle. Hopefully this will lessen off the calories. Can it??
Arrange egg noodle, bean sprouts, and white konnyaku in a bowl.
For spice paste:
Salt and pepper
Chicken, boiled and shredded
Tofu or yuba
Vermicelli or konnyaku
Scallion for garnishing